October 1, 2014
Google Analytics is one of the most well conceived and useful ways to track data on how your website is working. Part of the problem is that some people simply don’t know how to use it, especially when it comes to WordPress blogs. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make sure that you get the most out of this service. Here are five quick tips that will better enable you to take advantage of Google Analytics.
- Install WordPress Correctly — Like many applications, there are a number of installation options that come with WordPress that can change the way that the software functions. Making sure that you have put the proper code in the proper place on your WordPress site is absolutely vital to getting accurate statistics. If the initial installation and signup at Google Analytics is done correctly, you’ll find that you can easily access a Google Analytics summary right on your WordPress dashboard. From there, it’s easy to keep track of all of the valuable statistics of your blog so that you can best craft your message.
- Find Out What Posts Work — You should write the things you’re passionate about and focus on what actually interests you or your lack of enjoyment will show in the finished product. There is a subset of things that you can also be passionate about that your audience wants to read. Use your analytics to figure out what those things are and focus on them in future articles to ensure you get the same traffic you received with posts that were particularly successful.
On the flip side of that, make sure you’re checking your bounce rate and average time on page stats. These tell you when posts are only being read briefly and if people are going on to look at other pages on your site after that. You want people to spend as much time bouncing from article to article as you can, so try to write on interesting topics with catchy headlines.
- Watch Your Load Times — If your blog takes several minutes to load completely, people are unlikely to actually read it. On the Internet, wasted seconds are nothing but an opportunity to close a tab or search elsewhere for what you’re looking for.
The main way to keep load times down is to make sure that you don’t have a lot of plugins on your site. While it’s great to be able to show your Twitter updates, play a song, and have a random lyric from Hello, Dolly displayed on your dashboard, this all adds to the loading time of the page. During that period, people get bored or frustrated and will go back to their search engine results page for another option.
- Set and Track Goals — It’s not enough just to know what the numbers are, you really do need to have something to work toward or you’ll just be spinning your wheels.
That’s why it’s important to set specific statistical goals. They don’t have to be just page hits. Maybe you want to reduce your bounce rate or better promote pages on certain subjects. Regardless, you should know what you want.
Similarly, you should also be able to see how those goals are being met. Google Analytics lets you actually set goals within the system and helps you find ways to meet them through tips and highlighting of relevant data. You can use this feature to help you get more out of your blog.
- Use Referrer Data to Find What Promotions Work —– If you’re promoting your blog on Facebook one way and it seems to be working, you might not get the same results on Twitter. That’s why it’s important to track very carefully what you are doing where and look to see if there are spikes in interest from those locations. Paying attention to referrer data helps you focus your efforts better and get the most out of your time. Moreover, it helps you craft promotions that will result not only in traffic, but conversions as well.
Brittany is the CEO and marketing manager at 4 The Web. We are online business specialists, based in Denver, CO. We provide full service business support. This means we’ll help you with every aspect of bringing or expanding your business online. Connect with us through Twitter.